Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
It wasn't a lot of fun to watch but former WEC bantamweight champ pulled out a dominating unanimous decision win over veteran Antonio Banuelos to open UFC 126's pay per view broadcast.
Torres came out pawing with his long left arm and his right arm cocked back by his chin. Banuelos caught him coming in with the first punch, a cross. Torres landed leg kicks and a high kick. Torres began to crack Banuelos with punches mixing jabs and straights with his leg kicks. With about 2 minutes left Banuelos caught a kick and took Torres down but he quickly let him stand back up. Torres landed a hard right hand that cracked like a gun shot. Another right. Banuelos winged and missed several times and then landed a looping right hand. Banuelos threw a spinning back kick but missed.
Banuelos came into the second with a stuttering forward step and landed with the first leg kicks. Torres landed a body kick. Then a second. Then Banuelos needed a quick break from leg kick that landed in his groin. Torres threw a leaping head kick but whiffed. Then a good exchange that Torres got the better of. Crowd got restless. Torres worked the hit and run with the jab. Banuelos charged in behind hooks but couldn't make up the 13" reach advantage. Torres began to light him up with sharp combinations. Torres landed a kick to the jaw. Brutal exchange ended the round with Torres again taking advantage.
Torres came out stutter stepping then charged in but didn't land. Torres walked Banuelos down as the crowd booed. Banuelos winged from too far outside as Torres landed repeatedly to the head. Banuelos tried to counter but consistently out of range. Very little action in the final round. Banuelos swung wildly to end the fight and cracked Torres but it was too little too late.
Torres (39-3, 1-0 UFC) stepped into the UFC cage for the first time against veteran Banuelos who moves to (18-7, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 126.